The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Hockey India to hold elections for its executive body but restrained it from implementation of the results.
A Bench, comprising Justices Altmas Kabir and A K Patnaik, stayed the Bombay and the Delhi high court orders restraining it from conducting elections scheduled for July 28 and posted the matter for further hearing on August 19.
The apex court allowed the holding of elections after both the Hockey India and the Indian Olympic Association contended that if the elections are not held by July 31 the country would not be able to participate in any international hockey event.
The Delhi high court had on July 28 stayed the election process in Hockey India following failure of the Central government to clarify the legal position regarding Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation.
The Bombay high court had also stayed the elections for three weeks on a petition filed by Mumbai Hockey Association.
Taking strong exception to the submission made by the joint secretary (Sports) that both the Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation are government recognised bodies, the court said that the elections in Hockey India would not be allowed so long as the confusion persists.
Earlier, the Delhi high court had directed the government to dissociate itself from Hockey India's elections, saying it is a private body, and held that the IHF is the only recognized body for the sport in the country.
It also asked the government to withdraw its observer appointed to monitor the Hockey India election.
The high court had on May 21 set aside the decision of the government and the Indian Olympic Association to de-recognise the IHF.
Hockey India, which has the recognition of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), has to complete its elections as stipulated by the world body by July 31, failing which India would be barred from participating in any international tournaments.